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Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing
By Cary Ginell
University of Illinois Press
1994
330 Pages
ISBN:  0-25202-041-3

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Milton Brown and his band, the Musical Brownies-which predated Bob Wills's first band by a full year enjoyed immense popularity playing their innovative blend of country music, jazz, and blurs in Texas dance halls during the Depression. An ambitious young singer from Fort Worth, Brown had formed the band. in 1932, he was thirty-two years old and at the height of his popularity when he died as the result of an automobile accident in April 1936.

In Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing, Cary Ginell vividly portrays memorable personalities, stylistic growth, musical rivalry, tour. ing, recording sessions, business practices, and driving determination, Drawing on a rich array ref primary resources, including oral histories, family scrapbooks, and newspaper files, he documents Brown's role in dating Western swing, a musical genre that still resonates in George Strait's recent recording, of "Right Or Wrong" (originally a Brown hit) and the vibrant energy of the band Asleep at the Wheel. With a complete discography, song histories, and more than fifty illustrations, many never before published, this book is an essential document in the annals of American music history.

"Milton Brown is one of the great unsung heroes of American music, and one of the true fathers of western swing. Ginell's biography offers a wealth of new information on Brown and his ties and paints a marvelously detailed portrait of the rich Texas music scene of the Depression era."   —Charles K. Wolfe, Middle Tennessee State University